Believe it or not, it’s been more than 10 years since most people have had a hearing exam.
One of those individuals is Harper. She schedules a checkup and cleaning with her dentist every six months and she shows up dutifully for her yearly medical exam. She even knows to get her timing belt replaced every 6000 miles! But she never remembers to schedule her hearing exam.
Hearing assessments are important for a variety of reasons, the most prominent of which is that it’s usually challenging for you to detect the earliest indications of hearing loss without one. Knowing how frequently she should get a hearing test will help Harper keep her ears (and hearing) healthy for as long as possible.
So you should get your hearing examined how often?
If the last time Harper had a hearing assessment was over ten years ago, that’s alarming. Or perhaps it isn’t. Her age will greatly determine our reaction. Depending on age, recommendations will differ.
- For individuals over 50: Once annually is the recommended routine for hearing tests in people over fifty. Hearing loss is more likely to have an affect on your life as you get older because the noise damage that has accumulated over a lifetime will accelerate that impairment. Moreover, as we age we’re more likely to be dealing with other health problems that can have an impact on hearing.
- For individuals under 50: It’s usually recommended that you take a hearing test once every three to ten years or so. There’s no harm in having your ears checked more often, of course! But the bare minimum is once every ten years. If you’ve been exposing yourself to loud concert noise or work in a field with high volume levels, you should err on the side of caution and get tested more frequently. After all, it’s painless, easy, and there’s really no practical reason not to do it.
You should get your hearing tested if you experience any of these signs.
Obviously, there are other times, besides the annual exam, that you may want to come in for a consultation. Symptoms of hearing loss might start to crop up. And when they do you should schedule an appointment with us for a hearing exam.
Here are a few indications that you need a hearing exam:
- Rapid hearing loss in one ear.
- Trouble hearing conversations in noisy environments.
- Sounds get muffled; it starts to sound as though you always have water inside of your ears.
- Having a hard time hearing consonants (in general, consonants are spoken in a higher wavelength than vowels, and it’s those high-frequency sounds that are frequently the first to go as hearing loss takes hold.)
- Asking people to slow down or repeat what they said during a conversation.
- Phone conversations are becoming more difficult to hear.
- Cranking your television or car stereo up to excessively high volumes.
It’s a solid hint that it’s time to get a hearing test when the above warning signs begin to accumulate. You’ll know what’s going on with your ears as soon as you come in for a test.
What are the benefits of hearing testing?
There are lots of reasons why Harper might be late in getting her hearing checked.
It might have slipped her mind.
Maybe she just doesn’t want to deal with it. But getting the suggested hearing tests has concrete benefits.
We can establish a baseline for your hearing, which will help identify any future deviations, even if it’s currently healthy. If you can catch your hearing loss before it becomes obvious, you can better safeguard it.
The point of regular hearing tests is that somebody like Harper will be able to identify issues before her hearing is permanently damaged. Catching your hearing loss early by getting your hearing tested when you should will help you keep your hearing healthier, longer. If you allow your hearing to go, it can have an impact on your overall health.